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Overwhelmed

First day of teaching

sunny 21 °C

Got up at 6.30 am, opened the shutters to see the stars, got ready, and left at 7.20am. Got the bus sans problemes, arrived at school 8am, to be told that first lesson was not at 8.30am as I'd been told but 9.30am which was kinda annoying but means not such an early start in the future. My timetable is a bit different than I thought too and I have one mixed level class of CM1 and CM2 which I was a bit worried about, but actually they're all about the same level (if anything I think the younger ones were better!).

For me there were two main difficulties of the day:

With the younger students, getting a balance between giving them too much information in one lesson and risking them getting bored and fidgety doing the same thing. I think maybe a shorter lesson would work better with them, I really struggled to fill the 45 minutes well today....but, bah, thats well out of my control. One of my CE1 classes (the youngest) was a lot smaller, and I couldn't believe how much more we got done, how much easier it was to keep an eye on what was going on.

With the older students, stopping them fidgeting and chatting, and having an explosion every time they put their hands up! Oh and stopping them asking straightaway every time "Qu'est-ce que ca veut dire en francais?" (What does that mean in French?").

My basic lesson plan for today and tomorrow (if anyone cares) consisted of three parts which I adapted according to their level:
Introducing myself, where I come from, places where English is spoken
English words which are used in French (le rugby was a particular favourite today)
Introducing the Good Morning/Goodbye songs, and "How are you?" / "my name is..."

Some of the teachers were really nice...others not quite so. I ate lunch from the canteen in the staffroom...soup, french bread (bien sur), quiche, some HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS generic meat in limegreen sauce, rice, cheese and a pear. It was great for my french to sit and listen and chat to the teachers at lunchtime, and they seemed to think my French was not bad, although it felt awful. Had my first real examination of 'bisous' (kissing on each cheek) in the workplace, and it's bloody hilarious, and scary for when I progress from handshaking on Thursday...literally every single person has to kiss every single other person when they first see them in the day, so the staffroom at 8.30am is hilarious, and then sometimes they didn't remember at break time if they'd already seen each other so they did it again just in case!

I am full of respect for teachers: they make it look so damn easy. And my voice is so sore from talking to a class all day, I hadn't given that a day.

Matt just asked on MSN whether anything got thrown at me? The answer is no, and so I guess my first day as a language teacher was fairly successful.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 07:31 Archived in France

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